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Frozen Fenway to return in January with 4 Hockey East games

06.29.16 at 1:25 pm ET
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Frozen Fenway is returning to Fenway Park with a pair of Hockey East doubleheaders on Jan. 7 and Jan. 14. The first Saturday will feature Boston University vs. UMass and Boston College vs. Providence, while the second weekend pits Maine vs. UConn and Northeastern vs. New Hampshire.

College hockey has previously visited Fenway in 2010, 2012 and 2014. This will be the fourth Frozen Fenway game for BC; third for BU, Northeastern and Maine; second for UMass, Providence and UNH; and first for UConn.

“Hockey East and our schools could not be more excited to take the ice once again at Fenway Park,” said Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna in a statement. “Once Frozen Fenway 2017 is complete all 12 Hockey East schools will have played an outdoor game at Fenway Park, creating once-in-a-lifetime memories for the players, students, alumni and fans.”

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh also announced a free public skate for Boston residents on the Fenway rink on Monday, Jan. 16. Game times, ticket information and additional Frozen Fenway games and events will be announced in the coming months.

BU ties record with 4 first-round picks in NHL draft

06.24.16 at 10:11 pm ET
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Charlie McAvoy went 14th overall to the Bruins. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Charlie McAvoy went 14th overall to the Bruins. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Boston University had a pretty good Friday night. The Terriers had a rising sophomore and three incoming freshmen selected in the first round of the NHL draft, tying a record for the most first-round picks from a college or Canadian junior team in a single draft.

Incoming freshman center Clayton Keller was the first Terrier off the board, as he went seventh overall to the Arizona Coyotes. Then the Boston Bruins took defenseman Charlie McAvoy, a rising sophomore, with the 14th pick.

Incoming freshman defenseman Dante Fabbro went three picks later to the Nashville Predators and incoming freshman winger Kieffer Bellows (son of former NHLer Brian Bellows) went two picks after that to the New York Islanders at 19.

Keller and Bellows played on the same line for the U.S. Under-18 Team last season, with Keller putting up 37 goals and 70 assists in 62 games and Bellows notching 50 goals and 31 assists in the same number of games.

McAvoy had three goals and 22 assists in 37 games for BU as a freshman, but 19 of those points came over his final 22 contests as both his offense and defense improved as the season went on. Fabbro tallied 14 goals and 53 assists in 45 games with the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League.

Four other college or major junior teams had previously had four players selected in the first round. The 2006 University of Minnesota team was the only other college team to do it, but those four never actually played together — Phil Kessel had already played his freshman year and turned pro after the draft, while Erik Johnson, Kyle Okposo and David Fischer all came in after the draft.

This of course all comes with the caveat that the three incoming freshmen actually play for BU and don’t go pro or jump to major juniors. However, none of them appear to be much of a risk to do either of those, although there will certainly be rumors generated from major juniors because that’s what people in those circles do.

College/major junior teams who have had four first-round picks in one draft:

1969 Montreal Jr. Canadiens
Rejean Houle, Marc Tardif, Andre Dupont, J.P. Bordeleau

1972 Toronto Marlboros
Billy Harris, Steve Shutt, Dave Gardner, George Ferguson

1979 Brandon Wheat Kings
Laurie Boschman, Brian Propp, Brad McCrimmon, Ray Allison

2006 University of Minnesota
Erik Johnson, Phil Kessel, Kyle Okposo, David Fischer

2016 Boston University
Clayton Keller, Charlie McAvoy, Dante Fabbro, Kieffer Bellows

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Fireworks as Boston College baseball eliminated from NCAA Super Regional by classless Miami Hurricanes

06.12.16 at 4:30 pm ET
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Boston College was eliminated from the NCAA baseball Super Regional on Sunday by Miami in a winner-take-all game that included a near-brawl after the Hurricanes gloated over the game-clinching grand slam.

Needing a victory to secure their first spot in the College World Series since 1967, the Eagles dropped a 9-4 decision that wasn’t decided until Edgar Michelangeli’s grand slam in the seventh inning put the game away.

That’s also when things got heated, because Michelangeli flipped his bat halfway up the first base line and then appeared to yell in the face of Boston College catcher Nick Sciortino as he crossed home plate, according to the Boston Herald. That led Eagles first baseman Mitch Begras to jaw with Miami’s Willie Abreu before the two started pushing and shoving, leading to both benches emptying. No players were ejected.

The finish couldn’t put a damper on the best BC baseball season in nearly 50 years. The Eagles finished 34-22 and took Miami to the limit in their three-game series, forcing Sunday’s decisive game with a victory on Saturday afternoon.

Michelangeli was too much in this one, however, as his three-run homer off of starter Jacob Stevens in the second gave the Hurricanes a 4-0 lead.

The Eagles halved their deficit in the fourth on Donovan Casey’s two-run single, but never get closer thereafter.

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Boston College baseball team 1 win away from College World Series

06.11.16 at 8:22 pm ET
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The Boston College baseball team beat the Miami Hurricanes, 5-3, Saturday in Coral Gables, Fla. for its first-ever Super Regional win.

For that, they can thank in large part to a player who was drafted during the game.

BC pitcher Mike King was earning the win over the Hurricanes at the same time he was being taken by the Miami Marlins in the 12th round of the Major League Baseball amateur draft.

The junior right-hander allowed three runs on nine hits, helping the Eagles sit on the doorstep of their first College World Series berth in 49 years.

The Eagles and Hurricanes will play a winner-take-all game Sunday, with the winner heading to Omaha, Nebraska. Miami, who last won the national title in 2001, would be headed to the World Series for a second straight season.

Boston College, which is now 2-14 all-time at the home of the Hurricanes, is scheduled to send out freshman right-hander Jacob Stevens (4-3, 2.14 ERA) for Sunday’s game. Miami is slated to start sophomore right Jesse Lepore (9-0, 2.20)

For a complete box score, click here.

Providence basketball announces 2016 non-league slate

05.31.16 at 4:53 pm ET
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The 2016-17 Providence Friars won’t have Kris Dunn or Ben Bentil, but they will have a challenging non-conference slate before heading into Big East play for the New Year.

The school on Tuesday announced the team’s non-Big East schedule, which will be highlighted by games against ACC, Big Ten and Atlantic-10 rivals, plus an early-season tournament appearance at the Emerald Coast Classic in Destin, Florida.

The Friars will open their 2016-17 non-conference season on Nov. 14 at home against Vermont from America East. Providence then will play at Ohio State in the Gavitt Tipoff Games on Nov. 17.  The Friars will return home for two games with Grambling (Nov. 19) and Brooklyn’s St. Francis (Nov. 21), which are part of the Emerald Coast Classic. Providence then will play its final two games of the Emerald Coast Classic in Destin, Florida, against traditional power Memphis of the American Athletic Conference (Nov. 25) and then either Iowa or Virginia on Nov. 26.

The hectic start to the season will give the Friars six games to play in a span of 13 days.

Providence’s next game at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center will come Nov. 30 when the Friars host New Hampshire. The game against UNH will be the first of six consecutive home games for the Friars at the Dunk.

After hosting arch-rival Rhode Island on Dec. 3, Providence will play Brown on Dec. 6, UMass on Dec. 10, Wagner on Dec. 17 and Maine on Dec. 20, all at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

The Friars will close out their non-conference season with a road game at ACC rival Boston College on Dec. 23. The Big East conference schedule, which has tipped off the past three seasons on or around New Year’s Eve, will be released at a later date.

PROVIDENCE 2016-17 NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
All games broadcast on WEEI 103.7 FM

Nov. 14, home vs. Vermont
Nov. 17, at Ohio State (Gavitt Tipoff Games)
Nov. 19, home vs. Grambling (Emerald Coast Classic)
Nov. 21, home vs. St. Francis (Brooklyn) (Emerald Coast Classic)
Nov. 25, vs. Memphis (Emerald Coast Classic at Destin, Fla.) 9:30 p.m.
Nov. 26, vs. Iowa/Virginia (Emerald Coast Classic at Destin, Fla.) 4 or 7 p.m.
Nov. 30, home vs. New Hampshire
Dec. 3, home vs. Rhode Island
Dec. 6, home vs. Brown
Dec. 10, home vs. UMass
Dec. 17, home vs. Wagner
Dec. 20, home vs. Maine
Dec. 23, at Boston College

BC suspends QB/WR Troy Flutie after OUI arrest

05.24.16 at 9:02 am ET
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Troy Flutie appeared on court Monday after being arrested over the weekend for OUI. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Troy Flutie appeared in court Monday after being arrested over the weekend for OUI. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Boston College announced Monday that redshirt sophomore quarterback/wide receiver Troy Flutie has been suspended from the team after his weekend arrest for operating under the influence of alcohol.

Flutie, the nephew of BC legend Doug Flutie, was arrested around 1 a.m. Saturday after hitting a curb in his hometown of Natick, police told The MetroWest Daily News. The 20-year-old was arrested for OUI, possession of an open container of liquor while driving, being a person under 21 in possession of liquor, and marked lanes violations, the Daily News reported.

“Troy has been suspended from the football team by Coach Steve Addazio pending further investigation and faces the possibility of additional University sanctions pending the outcome of the court proceedings,” BC said in a statement.

Flutie was released without bail at his arraignment Monday. He is due back in court June 20 for a pretrial conference.

Flutie appeared in eight games as a quarterback last season and completed 24-of-49 passes for 382 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. He is transitioning to wide receiver for the 2016 season.

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Boston College retires Pete Frates’ No. 3

05.08.16 at 12:29 pm ET
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On Saturday, Boston College retired the No. 3 in honor of Pete Frates.

Frates played baseball at Boston College from 2003-07, including being the team’s captain in 2007. He was diagnosed with ALS on March 13, 2012 and now has set out on a mission to raise awareness and find a cure for the disease, most notably the Ice Bucket Challenge. He is now BC’s director of baseball operations.

“My brother, some of his best years were here,” Frates’ brother Andrew said to WCVB. “In fact, my parents and my best years were here and following my brother throughout the country and watching him play baseball for Boston College. Really special time for our family.”

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Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey wins Hobey Baker Award

04.08.16 at 7:00 pm ET
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Harvard's Jimmy Vesey won the Hobey Baker Award as the best player in college hockey. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey won the Hobey Baker Award as the best player in college hockey. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Harvard senior forward Jimmy Vesey won the 2016 Hobey Baker Award as the best player in college hockey Friday night in Tampa.

Vesey was a Hobey Hat Trick finalist last year as well, but lost out to Boston University freshman forward Jack Eichel. This year he beat out Boston College junior goalie Thatcher Demko and Michigan freshman forward Kyle Connor.

Vesey, a North Reading native, finished seventh in the country in points per game this season with 24 goals and 22 assists in 33 games. He helped lead Harvard to a second straight NCAA tournament appearance, although the Crimson lost to BC in the opening round.

Vesey’s win is sure to stir some debate in college hockey circles, as Connor ran away from the country in terms of goals and points, finishing with 35 goals and 36 assists in 38 games. Vesey certainly had a great season, but it is somewhat surprising that he beat out a player who had nearly half a point more per game.

Vesey becomes the fourth Harvard player to win the Hobey and the first since Lane MacDonald in 1989. He also becomes the third straight player from a Boston school to win, joining BU’s Eichel (2015) and BC’s Johnny Gaudreau (2014).

Vesey turned down the chance to sign with the Nashville Predators (the team that drafted him in the third round in 2012) after the season, electing instead to become a free agent in August. The hometown Bruins are considered one of the leading candidates to sign him, along with the Toronto Maple Leafs, where his father works as a scout.

BC falls to Quinnipiac in Frozen Four as comeback comes up short

04.07.16 at 7:52 pm ET
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Quinnipiac is heading to the national championship game for the second time in four years after beating BC. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Quinnipiac is heading to the national championship game for the second time in four years after beating BC. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Quinnipiac was something of an outsider at the Frozen Four given its lack of history compared to longtime powerhouses Boston College, North Dakota and Denver, but the Bobcats were the No. 1 overall seed in this year’s NCAA tournament for a reason.

They were the best overall team in college hockey this season, and they showed that again on Thursday when they beat Boston College 3-2 in the national semifinals at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Their two early goals and dominant start to the game may have come as a surprise to anyone who hasn’t seen them much, but it really shouldn’t have.

The Bobcats ranked top five in the country in scoring offense, scoring defense, shots for, shots against and Corsi this season. They don’t have a weakness, and they definitely don’t need any help from their opponent. Unfortunately for BC, the Eagles gave Quinnipiac some help Thursday.

It started two and a half minutes into the game when Casey Fitzgerald turned the puck over behind BC’s net, allowing Scott Davidson to poke it out to Kevin McKernan in the slot for a 1-0 lead.

Things got worse for BC five minutes later with more sloppy defense. A turnover on a Michael Kim breakout pass allowed Quinnipiac to maintain possession in the offensive zone. Then Travis St. Denis won a battle against Scott Savage down low and found Andrew Taverner all alone in the slot to make it 2-0 Bobcats.

Given how good Quinnipiac is defensively, a two-goal deficit seemed borderline insurmountable. The Eagles, to their credit, came out much stronger in the second and cut the lead to 2-1 just 23 seconds into the period. Ian McCoshen made a nice keep-in at the left point, then Casey Fitzgerald sent a shot toward the net that Colin White deflected. Michael Garteig made that save, but Alex Tuch was right there to bury the rebound.

BC continued to create chances for the next couple minutes, but it couldn’t get the tying goal. Then BC gave Quinnipiac some more help when McCoshen took an unnecessary crosschecking penalty at the 4:23 mark of the second. Landon Smith made the Eagles pay just nine seconds into the power play on a scramble in front after the puck bounced behind Thatcher Demko, making it a two-goal game once again.

The Eagles did put 15 shots on goal in the second period, but they still entered the third trailing 3-1. They struggled to generate offense through the first half of the third period and couldn’t take advantage of power play midway through the frame, but then they got another man advantage with 6:07 to go.

Garteig made several big saves and Quinnipiac nearly killed it off, but the Eagles finally broke through with 4:16 left in the game to cut the Bobcats’ lead to one. Bruins prospect Ryan Fitzgerald won a faceoff to Garteig’s right, some nice puck movement led to a one-timer for McCoshen, and then Fitzgerald pounced on a rebound for his team-leading 24th goal of the season.

The Eagles pressed for a late tying goal and pulled Demko for an extra attacker with 1:37 to go, but Quinnipiac held on for the win. McCoshen had two late looks on one-timers, including one with just three seconds remaining, but Garteig made a pair of great glove saves.

BC was aiming for its fifth national championship in the last 16 years. The Eagles last won it all in 2012, which was also in Tampa. Instead, they’ll have to settle for a season that ends with a 12th Frozen Four appearance in the last 19 years.

This is Quinnipiac’s second Frozen Four appearance and second time reaching the national championship game. The Bobcats lost to rival Yale in the 2013 final in Pittsburgh. They’ll take on the winner of North Dakota vs. Denver in Saturday night’s title game.

Villanova beats buzzer, North Carolina for NCAA title

04.04.16 at 11:58 pm ET
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HOUSTON — North Carolina and Villanova reached the national championship game Monday night at NRG Stadium largely because they can shoot the ball better than most. So it turns out that in a game that had “shootout” written all over it, a shootout is precisely what happened.

Kris Jenkins, plagued by foul trouble early in the game, hit a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired, giving Villanova a 77-74 victory over the Tar Heels. For the Wildcats, it is their second national title in school history, and their first since a 1985 win over Georgetown.

“That was one of the great college basketball games we’ve ever been a part of,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “We didn’t just beat a great team, which this team is, but a great program, a classy program.

“Before they determined that shot was good, Roy [Williams] came right up to me and said, ‘I’m really disappointed for our guys, that was a great game, but I’m really happy for you.’ ”

Jenkins’ shot overshadowed an incredible game-tying heave from UNC guard Marcus Paige seconds earlier, as Paige managed to connect on a 25-foot double-clutch of a prayer from the right flank for 3, sending the crowd into a frenzy. But the real frenzy was still 4.7 seconds away.

After a timeout to call the play, Jenkins inbounded the ball to Ryan Arcidiacano, who dribbled it up and then dished it off to the trailing Jenkins. The 6-foot-6 junior then shot himself into certain “One Shining Moment” fame, delivering a deep trey as the final buzzer sounded to give Villanova the victory.

“It was what we do every single day in practice,” Arcidiacono explained. “Daniel [Ochefu] set the screen for me because they let the ball come in. Kris did a great job of sprinting to the play, Once I heard him there, I just flipped it to him.”

And Jenkins, with his shot turned into history, added, “This team, we gave it all we had. Today we were just, you know, lucky to hit the shot at the end.”

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